What are the qualities of a good teacher? What skills do they need to have? What makes a person a good teacher, in your opinion? How does one become a good teacher, and what can you do to help someone be a better teacher?
These are all questions that we may ask ourselves as we contemplate our career paths. In this article, I will explore these questions and offer some insights into becoming an excellent educator. Of course, the primary quality of the best teachers is their ability to connect with students.
They must know how to keep students engaged in learning by fostering curiosity and interest for knowledge. Good teachers also possess strong interpersonal skills because it is necessary for them to establish relationships with each student as well as other faculty members such as administrators or counsellors.
Teaching is a difficult but rewarding job. It requires patience, creativity, and the ability to speak in front of large groups of people with ease. In addition, as a teacher, you are responsible for teaching children all about different subjects so they can grow up to be well-rounded adults. This blog post will give you some tips on how to become a good teacher!
All teachers have their own style that makes them unique. You should find your niche by observing other teachers around you and figuring out what works best for you. Figure out what kind of learning environment would work best for your students too! When it comes down to it, though, three key qualities make any good teacher: compassion, intelligence, and creativity!
Teaching Skills: Definition and Examples
Teaching skills are crucial when working as an educator. These skills are what help a teacher keep their classroom engaged and interested in learning. Knowing the most desirable teaching skills and how you can highlight them can help you find a teaching job that you enjoy. It can also be helpful to learn how to highlight your teaching skills in your cover letter and resume and during the interview.
Teaching skills are the hard and soft skills that help a teacher keep students engaged. These skills can also help teachers position themselves as an educator, earning the attention and respect of their students.
Some teaching skills come naturally to some, whereas others may require development with practice. Developing teaching skills is only one part of becoming a good teacher. It can also be helpful to learn how to highlight these skills on your resume and during your teaching interview.
While many teaching skills can be beneficial in the classroom, here are a few top skills to have:
Communication is important as a teacher, whether you are transferring information to a student or learning how you can better meet the needs of your students. Teachers will often use both verbal and nonverbal communication skills to understand school policies and communicate the progress of students to their parents. In addition, teachers may need to read body language to understand students who are struggling or when the classroom is not understanding a lesson.
Teachers will often work on multiple projects at one time. This might include creating lesson plans, working one-on-one with students, or grading assignments. Additionally, teachers are often required to meet certain goals before the end of the school year. Therefore, teachers will need good project management skills to stay organized and timely and to meet these year-end goals.
Problem-solving or conflict resolution skills can also be helpful in the educational environment. For example, teachers may need to manage conflict between students, other teachers, or even during parent-teacher meetings. Problem-solving skills allow teachers to come up with unique solutions to conflict, identifying ways that meet the needs of everyone involved.
Different students learn differently, making creativity an important teaching skill. Some lessons can also be more difficult to teach, and creativity can help students maintain interest in the lesson. Creative teachers tend to hold the interest of their students longer, allowing them to teach difficult topics and subjects.
Leadership skills can also be helpful in the classroom. Teachers will need to lead their classrooms, keeping their students engaged and interested. In addition, leadership skills can help manage the classroom and highlight the importance of upcoming due dates or project goals.
Patience is crucial when working as a teacher. In addition to being a role model to teach patience to students, being patient can help teachers meet their students where they’re at academically. Students will gather information at different paces, and being patient can help create an environment of acceptance while also promoting learning.
In today’s technical times, having some comfort with using computers is important. Many lessons are taught using computers or videos, and having the ability to troubleshoot and run these programs is useful. Younger students may also need assistance with running or updating programs and will turn to the teacher for help doing so. Some teachers may also choose to assign work or tests online.
How To Improve Teaching Skills
Good teachers are continually improving upon their skills. You can improve your teaching skills with the following steps:
- First, recognize your strengths: It can be helpful first to know your strengths in relation to your teaching skills. Then, you may be able to use these strengths to help with developing areas that you would like to improve.
- Second, create a list of teacher skills needed you would like to improve: Now, create a list of skills for teachers that you would like to develop further. These may be skills that you have had less experience with or ones that you find the most difficult to implement in the classroom.
- Then, identify specific ways to improve these skills: Consider specific ways you can improve them for each teaching skill listed. For example, if you want to be more organized, you might try to improve your organization in other areas of your life. If you want to be a better leader, then you might volunteer for a leadership position in an after-school group.
- Determine how you will measure the development of skills: Good goals are SMART goals, which are goals that are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and timely. Determine how you will measure the development of each skill, as well as a timeline of how long you can expect to complete each one realistically.
Improving skills takes time and practice. That is why it is so important to continue monitoring your progress toward the development of certain skills.
Teaching Skills In The Workplace
You can improve your skills in the workplace with the following tips:
- First, use SMART goals: Setting goals that are S.M.A.R.T. can help you track progress toward the development of your skills.
- Continue working on your skills: Teaching skills can be continually improved. Continue to track your progress toward these goals and find new opportunities to improve as you meet your goals.
- Practice your teaching skills in your daily life: Certain skills, like organization and patience, can be harder to develop. But, trying to be more organized in your home life or more patient in your personal relationships can help you develop these skills.
- Get creative: Finding unique ways to develop your classroom skills can also help with developing your creative skills. For example, you might try mindfulness to improve patience. In addition, you might join an art class to find new ways to express creativity in the classroom.
- Drop-in on other teachers’ classrooms: Sometimes, it can be helpful to monitor how other teachers lead their classes. It can also be helpful to accept and give feedback, allowing you and your coworkers to work in a collaborative way to improve your skills.
Developing your teaching skills may take some creativity. But, in doing so, you can develop the skills that will help you in the classroom while also improving your creativity skills.
Key Skills For Teachers For Resume And Cover Letter
As you begin your career as a teacher, you will need to highlight your skills on your resume and cover letter. For example, you might include your teaching skills on your resume in the following ways:
- First, make a list of your top skills: Get organized by first making a list of your top teaching skills. Then, go through some of the most common skills and consider which you would consider your top skills.
- Then, consider which work experiences highlight these skills the most: You can highlight your top skills by listing your duties in previous positions. For example, if you worked as a teaching assistant as an intern and you were in charge of facilitating a new program, you could list this experience. Again, this demonstrates your skills in leadership and creativity.
- Next, evaluate the position requirements: You can gather a lot of information from the job description. For example, most employers will list the skills they are looking for in a candidate.
- Finally, review your cover letter and resume: Review your cover letter and resume before submitting it. It is best to create a new cover letter with each position and to review your resume.
Qualities of a Good Teacher
Some qualities of a good teacher include skills in communication, listening, collaboration, adaptability, empathy and patience. Other characteristics of effective teaching include an engaging classroom presence, value in real-world learning, exchange of best practices and a lifelong love of learning.
A good teacher can make a world of difference in students’ lives, impacting everything from their classroom learning to their long-term success. So if you're considering a career in education – or looking to boost it with a Master of Education (MEd) – it's important to explore the qualities of a good teacher.
Research from the Economic Policy Institute shows that good teachers are the single most important factor that contributes to student achievement in the classroom, more important than facilities, school resources and even school leadership.
A study from the American Economics Association (AEA) found that improvements in teacher quality positively impact everything from the quality of colleges students attend to students’ future salaries, the quality of their neighbourhood and even their future participation rates in 401k savings plans (AEA PDF source).
Good Teachers Are Strong Communicators
When it comes to effective teaching, strong communication skills are a must, said Dr. Daniel Tanguay, senior associate dean of faculty and education programs.
Tanguay got his start as a high school math teacher and said that many students came to his class feeling afraid of math, discouraged by their prior experiences and too overwhelmed to approach the subject positively.
By communicating with students at the beginning of the year about how math applies to their favourite hobbies, sports and future careers, Tanguay said his students were able to approach the subject in a more enjoyable way that better supported their learning.
Good Teachers Listen Well
reat communication doesn't stop when the teacher is done talking. Listening well is one of the most important skills needed to be a teacher.
“Teachers that are skilled in listening and observing often pick up on what isn’t being said, such as any anxieties a student may have, and can then help the student build their skills and confidence levels," said student Kristine Ducote, who is earning her bachelor's in criminal justice.
Student Latricia Maddox, who is studying for a bachelor's in business, said that effective listening skills also help teachers better understand their students and tailor lessons to reach them how they learn best.
“If an educator can truly hear a student, they can learn how to reach them where they are,” she said. “This will open the door for them to receive and learn the lesson that is being taught.”
Good Teachers Focus on Collaboration
Working in education means you’re never truly working alone. From paraprofessionals and teaching assistants to other classroom teachers and school leaders, working as a teacher often means working effectively in a group. It's also important to keep an open mind and learn from other educators.
The key to success in this kind of environment, Tanguay said, is the ability to collaborate. "You really need to be able to fill various roles in order to collaborate effectively," he said. "If you already have someone on your team who is going to be the one to critique all of the suggestions made, then you don't need to join in on that. Instead, maybe you need to be the person who is going to come up with creative ideas. You need to have that flexibility."
Good Teachers Are Adaptable
Effective teachers need to be able to work in a constantly evolving environment and adjust their teaching methods based on the age of their students, the resources available and changing curriculum, practices and requirements.
As a teacher since the 1980s, SNHU education professor and on-campus undergraduate program chairman Dr. Audrey Rogers said she’s seen tremendous changes in the education field throughout her career, particularly with the rise in access to the internet, computers and other technology. So what is teaching going to look like in another 30 years? The only thing certain, Rogers said, is change.
“Change is a constant,” she said. “Learning how to adapt and adjust, that’s been one of the skills that’s been most helpful in my career. It’s about keeping my finger on the pulse of who my students are over time and all the trends, standards and new research, and being able to improve continually.”
Adaptability is also one of the key skills needed to be a teacher who may be educating students of varying grade levels or different learning styles, Tanguay said.
Good Teachers Are Engaging
Being able to engage students with humour, creative lessons, and a strong classroom presence is an important part of what makes someone a good teacher, Tanguay said.
“If you were to envision that teacher that you would want in your life, even now, you’re going to want someone who is very engaging in front of the classroom,” he said. “A good teacher will perform for their students to keep them going... It’s not about sitting back and just lecturing, it’s about engaging in the work.”
What an engaging teacher looks like will vary depending on grade level and subject matter, Tanguay said.
In kindergarten, an engaging teacher might be one who gets down on the floor to do activities with their students on their level. In high school, an engaging teacher may think outside the box, add humour to their lessons, and find creative ways to bring learning into the real world.
Good Teachers Show Empathy
Another key to engaging students and improving their learning is to treat each student as an individual by being empathetic and understanding to what may be going on in their lives, Tanguay said.
“We need to take a moment to think back and think about what could be going on in this student’s life,” he said. “It’s so important to be observant, attentive, empathetic, and always have a positive attitude.”
Rhonda Garrison, a student in SNHU's psychology program, said empathy and understanding from a teacher can not only help that teacher make a connection with a student, but it can also directly impact a student's learning in the classroom.
“Something that may be easy for one student may not be so easy for someone else,” she said. “Everyone learns differently, whether it be faster or slower than normal, learns better by writing, reading or hands-on. Teachers always need to keep this in mind and always pay close attention to ensure each student is on the track they need to be.”
Good Teachers Have Patience
No matter what grade level you're teaching, your patience will be tested while working as an educator.
Whether you’re managing classroom behaviour, working with colleagues with different views, or communicating student issues or progress with parents, patience is one of the most important skills to practice as a teacher.
“More often than not, you actually have to have more patience with the parents than you do with the students,” Tanguay said. “Parents are coming in with their perceptions of what happened to them when they were students or previous experiences that may have been detrimental to their child... So you have to be patient and understanding of them.”
Good Teachers Value Real-World Learning
Teachers who bring their students’ learning into the real world are often some of the most engaging. But teachers need to bring their own learning into the real world, too.
One of the best preparations for effective teaching is to ensure that education students get plenty of classroom experience early on in their degree programs, Rogers said.
For education majors in SNHU's on-campus program, this preparation includes embedded coursework that begins in a student's freshmen year. Then, they spend time at a local school once a week collaborating with teacher partners and applying their learning to the classroom. A year-long student teaching experience is also a powerful way to ensure soon-to-be teachers have the time to hone their teaching skills, Rogers said.
Good Teachers Share Best Practices
A willingness to share knowledge and experiences with others is one of the most important qualities of a good teacher, Rogers said.
Education is a hands-on field and often requires experimentation within the classroom to discover which communication methods work best. Part of being an effective teacher is sharing your findings and best practices with others in the field, Rogers said.
“I always challenge my students to think, ‘What is your contribution?’” she said. “Are you brave enough to post on Twitter about your ideas on technology integration in the classroom? Your willingness to share your practice, to keep an open door, to be transparent and to be observed are an important part of your teaching.”
Good Teachers Are Lifelong Learners
One of the key skills needed to be a good teacher is a dedication to continued education and a love of learning.
Whether you’re learning more about your subject area, learning new methods of communication or even exploring how to bring more technology into your classroom, continuing to expand your own knowledge is key to expanding that of your students.
“Those dedicated to their subjects with a passion for learning make the best teachers," said student Jennifer Gardner, who is earning a bachelor's in mathematics. “They also need to have a desire to pass on that knowledge.”
Ducote said it’s important for teachers never to feel they’ve learned it all and remain open to new experiences.
“No matter your education level, you can learn something from everyone you encounter, including fellow educators as well as students,” she said. “Being willing to add tools to your toolbox continually – even unconventional ones at times – will keep things new and exciting, as well as giving you excellent skills.”
Qualities Of Great Teachers
The role of teachers in helping young people discover themselves and the world – and how they can then shape the world – is why teaching is the most important job in the world. But it is also the most important job for the world.
No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow in their most formative years and take responsibility for their own lives. As a student and as a teacher, to my current role as the CEO of ACARA (the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority), I've been fortunate to meet many good teachers – but what makes a teacher great?
Open To Learning And Improvement
Great teachers will always aspire to be the best teachers they can be. They will be open to learning, aspire to excellence, and constantly think about ways to improve their practice. They will take their professional learning seriously, evaluating those experiences and offerings through the lens of whether it will lead them to change the way they teach for the benefit of their students.
Providing Respectful, Structured Learning Environments
A good teacher will be respected. When I was training to be a teacher, at the end of my first practice round, the Dean of Studies at the school commented: ‘There are two types of teachers: popular and successful. You were popular.' Ouch!
Obviously, the Dean of Studies didn't mean to say all good teachers are unpopular. He himself was well-liked, but he wouldn't admit that. His point was that my relationship with my students is fundamentally a professional one and that the measure of a good teacher is the learning that takes place.
Good teaching does not depend on compatibility or preference, as friendships usually do, and the relationship is not one of mutual support. This is the basis of, and the rationale for, professional standards and the basis for ethical practices relating to a teacher's dealings with their students.
That is not to say teaching is not intensely personal. It is not limited to the transmission of subject knowledge, and, at its best, it deeply involves the growth of the whole student as a human being.
Certainly, great teaching involves having a good relationship with students. But those good relationships are based on trust, expertise and respect, on being fair, reliable, being a person of your word, and offering structure and consistency to provide a classroom environment where learning happens.
It is true that, often, the realities of the classroom and the school seem light years away from such elevated visions of teaching. Rowdy kids, unsettled Friday afternoons, outbreaks of bullying, encounters with parents who are either too demanding or not demanding enough – all these occur and place far more immediate challenges on teachers. Nevertheless, teaching is a challenging profession.
But, as many teachers know, it is often through these experiences, not despite them, that teachers find the way to relate to their students professionally, which puts their needs as learners at the forefront.
Subject Knowledge And Passion
In choosing to become teachers, many of us have been inspired by great teachers we had at school – people who showed they were committed to our intellectual and personal development by the way they taught. In particular, it was their deep knowledge and passion for their subject that was inspiring.
I had a number of such teachers, but one stands out in particular. His name was Kevin Garrity, and he was my HSC maths teacher. He was slightly eccentric, and he would take any opportunity he could to help us see how mathematics could be applied to our understanding of the world. Kevin would set us tricky calculus problems, and as he wandered around the room, he would often wave a hand-held fan over us. One day, I asked him, ‘Sir, what are you doing?' and he replied, ‘I am fanning the flames of wonder!'.
Inspiring Questions And Fanning The Flames Of Wonder
A great teacher has the ability to inspire students to ask more questions, not just to answer them. Their role in leading students to knowledge is not to satisfy their desire for knowledge, but exactly the opposite: it makes them hungrier and thirstier for more knowledge, skills, and understanding.
A good lesson will conclude with students knowing they have learnt something, but a great lesson will conclude with students being unsatisfied with what they've learnt, wanting to learn more, and asking more questions. That's fanning the flames of wonder. That's great teaching.
And the nature of their questions will branch out into an ever-widening circle of interests and concerns. Which brings me to the fifth dimension of great teachers.
Understanding The Wider Purposes Of Education
The earliest known curriculum document was a two-word inscription on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi in Greece. It read simply, ‘Know yourself'. Knowing yourself and examining one's life in a systematic and fundamentally honest way so as to become wise – this is the most profound outcome of a successful education.
Developing in students a commitment to thoughtful, honest, purposeful human agency, respectful of others and embracing the common concerns of one's communities, this is the wider objective of the calling of a teacher: to help young people come to know themselves and the power they have to change the world.
When teachers do these things well, their conversations with their students about knowledge and the world under construction will flourish from the creative and critical thinking of a new generation of lifelong learners who understand that they have minds and that they can use them responsibly for the common good.
- Patient and approachable. They say that 'patience is a virtue', and this couldn't be more true for teachers. ...
- Enthusiastic. ...
- Strong communication skills. ...
- Strong knowledge and a solid education. ...
- Disciplined and professional.
- Effective goal-setting
- Clear communication
- Acting as a role model
- Adaptability and flexibility
- Life-long learning
- Promoting a love of learning
- Friendliness and Congeniality. ...
- A Good Personality. ...
- Deep Knowledge and a Great Education. ...
- A Good Communicator. ...
- A Good Listener. ...
- A Good Sense of Humor. ...